Who We Are


Andrew Biar

President
Andrew founded Strategic Public Affairs ® in 2000.  Drawing on his years of experience, he and the firm provide public affairs and communication advice to businesses in key sectors of the economy including energy, utility, healthcare, automotive, homebuilding, finance and more.  This includes providing strategic counsel to trade associations and PACs as well as leaders in small business and Fortune 500 companies.  Prior to forming the firm, Andrew worked on political campaigns and did political fundraising.  He also worked at a statewide business trade association, for elected officials as well as a PR/Public Affairs firm.  His experience in government includes working at the municipal level, the Texas State House and Senate as well as public policy issues at the federal level.  Additionally, his background includes work in crisis communication and media relations.  He is responsible for managing the continuing growth of the firm as well as key client relationships.  Additionally, Andrew sponsored a NASCAR Sprint Cup team for a race at Texas Motor Speedway.  He is a licensed, professional, part-time NASCAR pit crew member in the sanctioning body’s three top series: Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.  He has served as a pit crew member at two of NASCAR’s top venues, Bristol Motor Speedway and the Daytona 500. Andrew earned his B.A. in Communications from Concordia University, Austin, Texas.

Elizabeth Biar

COO and Vice President
Before returning to Texas in 1997, Elizabeth worked for U.S. Congressman Bill Archer and also for the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.  Following her positions on Capitol Hill, she was employed as Associate Vice President for Tax and Health Policy for Newmyer Associates, Inc., in Washington, D.C.  After leaving Washington and moving to Austin, Texas, Elizabeth worked for Texas State Senator David Sibley and the Senate Economic Development Committee handling health, health insurance, and health and human services issues. Prior to joining Strategic Public Affairs® in 2002, Elizabeth was the Southeast Texas Public Advocacy Consultant for the American Heart Association.  She serves on the Independent Women’s Forum Leadership Circle and has served as a Harris County Appraisal Review Board Commissioner.  Additionally, Elizabeth is involved with the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Energy Network, the West Houston Leadership Institute, The Junior League of Houston, and Houston Alumnae of Kappa Alpha Theta.  Elizabeth earned a B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University in College Station and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Ricardo Lopez-Guerra
Director
With more than a decade of experience in the Texas Legislature, Ricardo brings solid knowledge and expertise in political strategy, policy analysis, strategic communications and grassroots organization. Ricardo served as Chief of Staff for State Representative Veronica Gonzales from 2004 to 2012.  Additionally, he worked for State Senator Royce West and the Texas Senate Jurisprudence Committee.  Aside from running various successful Texas House campaigns, Ricardo also served as Campaign Director to Congressman Ruben Hinojosa. In his 10 years of managing political campaigns, Ricardo has never lost a race.  He is recognized for his skills in relationship building, negotiation, legislative analysis, campaign coordination and persuasive communication.  Ricardo brings a uniquely comprehensive, balanced and personable approach to the table. Ricardo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin and is fluent in Spanish.

Marilee Balagia
Manager
Marilee Balagia is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she earned a B.A. in Advertising with a Minor in Graphic Design. Before joining Strategic Public Affairs®, Marilee began her career in the communication field at the corporate offices of Houston based Charming Charlie. Working in a fast paced and dynamic environment, she supported the marketing team in coordinating and developing various branding projects through national campaigns and promotional efforts. In addition to her experience in branding, Marilee also has a background in graphic design.  Marilee is involved with Bo’s Buddies, the Young Professionals Chapter of Bo’s Place; Camp for All Young Professionals; Kappa Kappa Gamma Houston Alumnae Association, and the University of Alabama Alumni Association Houston Chapter.
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Libbie Krueger
Manager
Before joining Strategic Public Affairs®, Libbie worked in the Minnesota State Senate. There she honed her communications and government relations skills as a communications specialist, a committee assistant and as a legislative assistant. She also took an active role in presidential and state senate campaigns in the state of Minnesota. Prior to her five-year stint in the legislature, Libbie gained professional experience in the public relations industry in Minneapolis, Minnesota and in Tokyo, Japan.  She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Houston Chapter and the Pi Beta Phi Houston Alumnae Club.  Libbie, a native of Wisconsin, earned degrees in Communication Arts and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin.

Strategic Partner


Susan K. Medina
Senior Public Relations Consultant
Susan K. Medina is a seasoned professional with more than 20-years experience in strategic communications. Her proprietary strategic communication process, known as SPARC, has helped top Fortune 500 companies forge and maintain strategic relationships vital in helping them reach their goals. One integral component of SPARC is the process of building relationships, of perfecting the art of communication as it relates to the task or challenge at hand. Susan maintains relationships with key leaders, presents the facts, skillfully tells her clients’ stories, and makes sure each party is pleased with the end results. It’s this kind of commitment that has contributed to her celebrity with clients such as TransCanada, (NYSE:TRP), Titan Operating LLC, NAPE Expo, ExxonMobil (XOM), and Texas Hospital for Advanced Medicine, just to name a few.
Susan is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.B.A. in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing.